Mastering the art of bluffing is the skill that separates the professional from the amateur. Videos of players bluffing for big pots receive hundreds of thousands of views.

The best hand doesn’t always win, as you’ll see five times in this article. These are some of the craziest bluffs in poker, from the early days of Ivey, Dwan, and Moneymaker.

Bluff in Poker: How To Tell A Believable Story
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It is difficult to find a poker player who has not heard the name Phil Ivey. The player is a true living legend. Phil is known not only for his victories in six-figure buy-in tournaments, but also for his bold decisions at the table.

Ivey – the owner of an imperturbable poker face

One of the most outstanding bluffs was caught on television. This happened in 2005 at the Monte Carlo Millions tournament in Monaco.

Ivey went heads-up against professional player Paul Jackson for $1,000,000, limping from the button with 6-5 offsuit. Ivey in the BB found Q-8 of hearts and checked.

The flop of 7JJ did not foreshadow any action – Ivey decided to steal the pot by placing a continuation bet of 45% of the pot. The opponent reraised, which in most cases would have forced the player to fold, but Phil decided to raise the bet again.

Jackson 4-bet. After thinking for a while, Ivey asked how many chips he had left and moved all-in. The opponent folded his cards, and Ivey was able to maintain his advantage until the end of the heads-up.

After his victory in the tournament

There are many videos on YouTube of Tom "Durrrr" Dwan taking away big pots from his opponents with bold bluffs. One example happened on the show High Stakes Poker, where Barry Greenstein and Peter Eastgate competed against Ivey.

Preflop, Greenstein raised from early position with pocket aces. Dwan called with Q-10 of clubs, and Eastgate called from the small blind with 4-2 offsuit.

Dwan's mathematical chances of winning were close to zero

On a 2-10-2 flop, Eastgate checked with trips of deuces. Greenstein bet $10,000. Dwan decided to turn his top pair into a bluff and raised the bet to $37,300. Both opponents called. The pot was already impressive – $133,500.

The turn was a seven. After the players checked, Dwan bet almost 80% of the pot – $104,200.

Eastgate folded his best hand, and Greenstein, deciding that he was already behind in this hand, followed suit. Dwan took a large pot and chalked up another successful bluff.

In 2007, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament was held in the Bahamas. The hand took place heads-up – Ryan Dot and Isaac Haxton, who were already playing high limits on the Internet at the age of 19, competed for the main prize of $1,500,000.

Dot limped into the game with 75 off suit, Haxton checked to the BB with pocket 32.

On the Q-4-A flop, Dot c-bet. Isaac called with the wheel draw and the turn was a King. Both poker players checked. The river was the Queen of clubs – did not improve anyone's hand. Haxton bet 700,000 and Dot moved it to 2,000,000.

This didn’t bother Issac much and he moved all-in, forcing Dot to fold his cards. Haxton was unable to win this heads-up, but this hand will forever go down in poker history as one of the most daring bluffs.

4.6
PokerStars starting out holding online poker games back in 2001 and now the company is worth over 6 billion dollars. They sponsor a slew of tournaments like the European Poker Tour, UK and Ireland Poker Tour, plus a handful of others. Over the years, PokerStars has remained on top of the online poker industry. They’ve expanded to offer fantastic online casino games and sports betting.

The hero of the next hand is Tom Dwan, once again. In the Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge tournament with a $500,000 buy-in, the American was able to defeat Sammy George. By this point, Dwan had already won against him – pocket Aces beat AK George, and the poker player was forced to rebuy.

Even before the hand began, the poker players agreed that if the pot was won with 72, the opponent should pay the winner an additional $10,000 – and those two cards came to Dwan.

Here's what happened next:

  • Preflop. Dwan raises to 6,000 with the worst hand in poker, and George calls with A-6 offsuit.
  • Flop. J A 6 give Dwan a flush draw with a low kicker and his opponent gets two pair. After his opponent checks, Durrrr bets 10,000 into the pot and George raises to 27,000. Dwan makes the call.
  • Turn. The three of clubs. George checks again with two pair and his opponent bets 48,000. Sammy calls.
  • River. Three of diamonds paired the board. Dwan moved all-in with 72 offsuit, and George folded. Durrrr showed his bluff and was able to take control of the game.
Already in 2023, Dwan failed to pull off a similar bluff at the Triton show – then a prize was also given for winning with 72

The so-called “poker boom” occurred in 2003. A simple accountant, Chris Moneymaker, won a bracelet in the WSOP Main Event and earned $2,500,000.

He was able to get into the tournament through an internet satellite, and his victory sparked enormous interest in poker, first in the United States and then around the world – this was later called the “Moneymaker effect.”

At the final table, Chris played against professional player Sam Farha and was able to pull off a successful bluff in one of the key hands.

After the end of the tournament, Chris admitted to his opponent that he was bluffing
  • Preflop. The moneymaker opens with a raise from the button with K7 offsuit. Farha calls from the big blind with Q9.
  • Flop. 9-2-6. Both players choose to check.
  • Turn. The eight of spades comes out. Farha puts 300,000 in the pot, Moneymaker raises him to 800,000 – his opponent calls.
  • River. The three of hearts did not strengthen anyone. Farha checks and Chris moves all-in. The opponent folds, and the Tennessee accountant extends his lead on his way to a historic victory.

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